The roller in this video is a ABS pipe covered in Smooth On 40a paint on urethane. Then wrapped in electrical tape to give it a tiny bit of screw action but mostly slippage
BUT if you’re looking to replicate this intake this roller design is the last thing you’d want to use.
The Stronghold boulder FIRST chose to use this year loves to stick to absolutely everything. It’s coated in latex and conforms easily around objects like a pneumatic tire. Gripping the ball is the easy part so much so that when this roller broke we switched it out for a plain abs pipe as seen here. The tricky part is getting the ball to slip and index itself left and right instead of jamming.
Often teams will use high grip wheels that are excellent at pulling the ball in initially but when they try to funnel the ball into the center the wheels continue to grip the ball preventing it from moving sideways. The way we solved this issue was by reducing the compression between the roller and the ball to nearly 0. Also make sure your funnel material is sufficiently slippery when in contact with the ball. Very flat glossy materials tend to grip very well . We found that roughing up polycarb with scotchbrite lowered its COF against the ball significantly.
We are still not 100% happy with our intake design. If the balls are a little small or the intake is bent up slightly we have issues gripping the ball at all but considering its simplicity it works pretty well. The best intake designs are almost always those that index the ball once it’s in the robot (2056 - 2012,2016, 33-2016, 1241-2016).